I had a chance to look over Peter Brown’s traffic plan this weekend. It’s a pretty good document, and while it doesn’t go into tremendous detail it does clearly spell out his approach to traffic management. Kuffner wrote a great summary last week, so for the general idea take a look at his post.
I just wanted to point out two items I found deep inside the report:
USE THE WHOLE GRID TO ALLEVIATE CONGESTION
We should do a better job of using the streets we’ve got. A well-connected street grid disperses traffic along many different roads, saving drivers time. Most trips people take are short, and forcing drivers onto already-congested corridors and freeways wastes time and creates congestion. Peter Brown will work to minimize the number of trips concentrated onto major corridors and avoid gridlock. We can save time and money, give drivers more route choices, and distribute traffic more effectively – taking advantage of the untapped roadway capacity that already exists. By making targeted roadway improvements, we can do this without endangering the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
BUILD BETTER ROADS
Using proven techniques from around the country and around the world, Peter Brown will make sure that future improvements handle traffic more efficiently and are designed to reduce congestion, rather than cause it. Entrance and exit ramps should be designed to minimize problems caused by merging. One-way road couplets can carry significantly more traffic than the same pair of two ways streets, and their use should be expanded as part of an effort to maximize our street grid.
Transportation systems are networks. A system of many small streets can carry more traffic more efficiently than a system of a few big streets. It’s not important to have a perfectly regular grid of one-way streets (although that is almost certainly the most efficient possible system), it’s important to have a well-connected network of streets that provide all users a variety of choices.
I’m glad to see that Brown gets this, and I’ll look forward to seeing if any of the other mayoral candidates publish similar traffic management strategies.